Are Pontoon Boats Good for Fishing?

Yes, pontoon boats can be great for fishing, especially for freshwater fishing with large groups of people or families.

With pontoon boats being so commonplace on most freshwater lakes and rivers, many people may wonder whether they can use their boat for a fishing excursion or if they’ll have to get a dedicated fishing boat.

I’m here to tell you that there’s no need to use an entirely different boat for fishing if you already own or are thinking of owning a pontoon boat. For most styles of freshwater fishing, pontoon boats are excellent fishing vessels.

Let’s go over what makes pontoon boats good or not so good for fishing so you can decide if they’re right for you and your fishing style. We’ll also discuss some upgrades and accessories you can get to turn your boat into a fish-catching machine!

Pros of Pontoon Boats for Fishing

With plenty of padded seating, your other passengers not interested in fishing will be plenty comfortable.

There are many positive attributes of pontoon boats that make them great for fishing. First and perhaps the most obvious is that they have plenty of space for large groups or families.

Often on small fishing boats such as Jon boats or bass boats, there isn’t much room to move around, and it can be very uncomfortable. Being crammed on a small boat can be especially unamusing for children, so if you want them to have a positive experience with fishing and boating, a pontoon boat is the best place to start.

Another selling point for fishing from a pontoon boat is they’re great for boating trips where fishing isn’t necessarily the primary activity. If you’re heading out with your family, odds are not everybody will be interested in fishing all day. Pontoon boats are very versatile, so you can bring a few fishing rods to use when everyone else is ready to sunbathe or eat lunch after going swimming or tubing.

Lastly, with ample cushioned seating and a Bimini shade common on most pontoon boats, they’re a super comfortable and downright luxurious fishing platform, so you’ll be able to fish for hours on end in the utmost comfort possible.

If you have apsirations for competing in high stake bass fishing tournaments, a slow pontoon boat is far from ideal.

Cons of Pontoon Boats for Fishing

As a boat type that’s primarily designed and used for pleasure boating, there are some areas where pontoon boats understandably fall short as fishing boats.

First, pontoon boats are typically slow and cumbersome, making them difficult to navigate or use in shallow and tight areas that are often the best fishing holes.

That’s where bass boats and Jon boats come in because they can get to areas other boats simply can’t. Not to mention, if you want to compete in some sort of fishing tournament, a pontoon boat is going to be too slow to get you where you need to go within the time limit for the competition.

What Types of Fishing are Pontoon Boats Best For?

For the most part, pontoon boats are great for just about any type of freshwater fishing, whether that be bass, panfish, walleye, or catfish to name a few. They’re not well suited or often used in saltwater, so pontoon boats can be ruled out for any type of saltwater fishing.

The best fishing scenario for pontoon boat fishing is on a calm day with a group of people using simple methods like bobber fishing to go after panfish like crappie and bluegills. It’s a simple and enjoyable fishing style that people of all ages and levels of experience can enjoy, and the ample space and comfort will make it even more fun.

Trolling and catfishing are other great fishing styles for pontoon boats because both of those fishing styles tend to involve a lot of sitting and waiting. In the comfort of a pontoon boat, waiting for a bite is much more relaxing and enjoyable.

Fishing Accessories for Pontoon Boats

If you want to deck out your pontoon boat for fishing, there are a few simple accessories and upgrades you can install that will make your fishing trips more successful. You don’t need any special skills to install these items in most cases, and they won’t break the bank either.

Here are some great fishing accessories for pontoon boats:

Fish Finder

Fish finders are invaluable for knowing depths, water temperature, and of course finding fish! Every pontoon boat should have one for fishing.

Trolling Motor

With a long enough shaft length and a higher-pound thrust motor, a bow-mounted trolling motor can be easily installed on a pontoon boat. Trolling motors are essential for fishing because they help you maneuver quietly instead of scaring fish with your loud outboard motor.

Rod Holders

These rod holders can be mounted to the square railings of pontoon boats with ease. You can install as many as you want at just about any location of the boat for easy access.

Mounted Fillet Table

A fillet table mounted to the square railing of a pontoon boat is another great accessory for cutting bait or filleting your catch at the end of a successful fishing trip.

Drift Sock

A drift sock is a must-have fishing accessory for pontoon boats. Since pontoon boats are big and get pushed by the wind easily, a drift sock can keep you from drifting too fast and they’re also great when used for trolling.

Caddy Organizer

A caddy organizer is a great addition to any boat, especially for fishing. You can install this organizer anywhere on your pontoon boat so you can have lures, tools, and drinks just an arm’s reach away.

In Summary

For the right situation, you can’t beat fishing from a pontoon boat. If you’re looking for a casual fishing vessel that can be used for many other popular boating activities, look no further.

Alex Johnson